Prayers That Feel Like Misplaced Correspondence

It’s one of those melancholy nights that come three-fourths of the way through a trip, when you’re sad that so much of the trip is behind you, and sad that you still have so far to go before getting home.

The kids played at the back of the bus, Sammy’s little shout punctuating their pretend world. Maile sat beside me, slowly eating an ice cream bar. Outside the sun dropped until its light hit that particular angle where everything is split into light sides and dark sides. Even the lowest things leave long shadows.

One of my favorite albums started playing: Druthers’ “Lots and None At All,” and suddenly the strangest thing. I felt homesick. For the first time on this crazy trip, a small ache for familiar things, a longing for routine.

Blindsided by a desire for the mundane.

* * * * *

I’d be dishonest if I didn’t admit to some occasional anxiety regarding the future. Current projects are coming to an end, and there isn’t a lot of writing work on the horizon for me.

Yet I know that, right now, this is where we are supposed to be. Traveling the country. Too many things led us to this place. We’ve had too many awesome experiences. I’ve met too many inspiring people. No matter what direction this road ends up taking, it has been too good to second-guess.

It’s E.L. Doctorow’s whole business with the headlights. You know, how driving at night you can never see beyond your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

* * * * *

O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me.

* * * * *

The kids sit at the table writing out postcards to some of their friends. We haven’t been so good about helping them stay in touch – not for their lack of writing. But most of the pieces of correspondence they do write end up getting lost somewhere in the bus.

I found a small pile of letters the other day. They had fallen down to the side of the desk.

Sometimes prayers feel that way don’t they? Like misplaced correspondence.

But there is hope, too, more hope than I’ve ever felt before. An exciting sense of expectation. Anything could happen.

* * * * *

At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.

8 Replies to “Prayers That Feel Like Misplaced Correspondence”

  1. I have that same exciting sense of expectation and I’m not even sure what it’s directed toward. Let’s see what happens for the both of us, shall we?

  2. Praying for you all as you head into the home stretch. And even when our prayers slide off the desk, they are heard anyhow. Blessings of mercy and peace to you all.

  3. Love this piece, Shawn. This “Even the lowest things leave long shadows” is poetry. And it speaks to me now. As does the verse. I love the prepositional phases that starts it: “At an acceptable time…”.

    Wish you were swinging through Canada!

    1. Oh, man, that’s the toughest part, isn’t it? Allowing yourself to commit to the belief that there is “an acceptable time” that might be other than the time I think is acceptable. Oh, my.

      We would love to swing through Canada. Unfortunately, funding has kept us south of the border during this journey :) Next time.

  4. I still find myself choosing familiarity over the great wide open. That sense of wonder and expectation eludes me when I choose to not let go. Good stuff, bro.

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